Friday I took a much needed day off and Bill and I headed to Ventura for a long weekend. I'd worked too many days in a row without a brake so I was looking forward to some me time.
As you can see the wind was really kicking up so I figured it was the perfect day to stay inside for some cooking and crafting. We'll get to the crafting part later but here's one of recipes I cooked up.
As you can tell that recipe's been around awhile - since the 70's I think. It's from our local newspaper when newspapers were full of society news and recipes. This one has been a family favorite for all these years and now that I'm trying to eat less meat and more plant based foods it seemed perfect for a blustery day at the beach.
Here's what you'll need:
In addition to the Great Northern beans you'll need these...
1 whole large diced onion
1 peeled potato diced
2 stalks of celery diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
Meaty ham hock
Low sodium chicken broth
Start by rinsing a package of Great Northern beans and soaking them in a quart of water overnight.
Unfortunately I usually don't think about making bean soup until the day I want it so I just bring the beans to a boil in the morning, turn off the heat, cover them and let them sit until it's time to start cooking. They soften up nicely and there's no need to delay gratification.
Once the beans are soaked and have started to soften, drain them and measure the liquid. The original recipe calls for a total of two quarts of water, but I use one quart of water (all of the original cooking water plus enough to measure one quart) and one box of low sodium chicken broth. We just like the richness that the chicken stock adds and to tell you the truth, I doubt if chicken stock in a box had even been thought of back in the 70's!
Add the ham hock to the soaked beans, water and stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for two hours.
Add the vegetables and simmer one more hour until beans are soft and the vegetables are cooked. The potatoes will thicken the soup nicely. Remove the ham hock from the soup and chop the meat removing the bone and fat. Return meat to soup.
This time I was feeling especially adventuresome so I added a packet of chicken flavor boost.
It's certainly optional. I added lots of freshly ground pepper and just a little salt. Your seasonings will vary depending on whether or not you use stock and the flavor boost. Adjust seasonings to your taste and enjoy!
Here's hoping your weekend is shocked full of everything delicious!
Encourage one another